A new James Bond story to celebrate the coronation of King Charles' has been commissioned.
The story will be written by author and actor Charlie Higdon, who has authored the five books from the Young Bond series, which were targeted towards younger viewers. The books are based on James Bond as a teenage student attending Eton College, before becoming a MI5 agent.
The latest story On His Majesty's Secret Service is to be published on 4 May, two days before the King's Coronation, and is to see Bond tasked with foiling a last minute attempt to disrupt the coronation by Athelstan of Wessex, who is determined to teach the UK a lesson.
On His Majesty's Secret Service has been commissioned by Ian Fleming Publications and comes 60 years after the original creator Ian Fleming published his tenth James Bond novel from his original series, arriving in 1963.
It was also confirmed that all royalties from the sale of On His Majesty's Secret Service will go towards the UK's National Literacy Trust. This charity works with schools and communities, providing disadvantaged children with the literacy skills to succeed.
"The coronation of King Charles III is a momentous occasion for the country", Corinne Turner managing director of Ian Fleming Publications said. "We asked ourselves how we at Ian Fleming Publications could celebrate it, and the answer seemed obvious. Ian Fleming’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service was first published on April 1, 1963. What better way, 60 years on, to mark this new chapter in history than with a brand-new story: On His Majesty’s Secret Service?".
"We shared our thoughts with Charlie, and he was delighted to take on the challenge of writing a Bond adventure in time for publication in May", Turner added. "Together we hope this book will give valuable support to the National Literacy Trust".
"tense and heart-pounding"
Speaking about putting the book together, Charlie Higdon admitted that the process of completing this story in a short space of time was a stressful one.
"When Ian Fleming Publications came to me with the idea of writing an adult Bond story a little more than a month ago, I was thrilled - until I realised it had to be ready for the coronation in May", Higdon said.
"Getting it written and turned around in such a short space of time was going to be as tense and heart-pounding as any Bond mission. Although, of course, nobody would actually be shooting at m3", he continued.
"But I've been thinking about writing an adult Bond adventure ever since working on the Young Bond books, and he came bursting out of me with both fists flying. It was all I could do to keep up with him and get his story down on paper", the actor added.
"Fleming famously wrote fast, and I channelled that energy. And now it’s so exciting for me to finally enter the world of grown-up Bond".
Available in bookshops from May 4, you can also check the latest Bond story as an e-book, and audiobook read by Higdon.